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Absolute Peak Exercise Capacity

by Phil Campbell - Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time Crunched Adults

Absolute peak exercise capacity ... is what medical researchers call the most intense aspect of exercise. It's the hardest part. It's the 15 seconds of sprinting at the end of a long run. It's the most difficult 10 seconds of pumping during a peak level on an exercise bike. It's the last few reps at the end of working "legs" in the gym. It's walking up stairs and having to stop to catch your breath.

When the highest-intensity aspect of exercise is measured, it has been proven to be a better predictor of how long someone will live than other factors - including health risk factors like high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.

Researchers from Stanford University, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, tested over 6,200 men and concluded that the chances of staying alive increase by 12 percent with each increase of a single metabolic equivalent when exercising as hard as possible on a treadmill.

What's a MET?

A "metabolic equivalent" (MET) is the amount of oxygen used by an average seated person.

METs increase with the intensity of exercise.

2 METs - walking at 2 mph

5 METs - walking at 4 mph

8 METs - jogging at 6 mph

The risk of death for those who could not get beyond 4 METs (brisk walking) was more than double the group who could get past 8 MET (jogging).

What this means to you

Simply, this study shows that traditional ways of thinking about increasing longevity does little when compared to the strategy of using exercise to improve health and fitness.

Adults should consider (with physician clearance first) performing high-intensity fitness training that will increase "absolute peak exercise capacity" and raise MET performance rating during exercise.

This type exercise - high-intensity, anaerobic fitness training that makes you sweat and breathe hard - is the most demanding type of exercise. However, this is the type of fitness training that yields wonderful fitness dividends for healthy adults.


The take home

All adults need to consider performing a fitness improvement plan that will gradually build "peak exercise capacity." And that's what Ready Set Go Fitness is all about! More in the next newsletter.

Have a great day!

Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE
Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness

   

National Institutes of Health research cited in newsletter
click:
Research Summary
Summary 2

NOTE: The purpose of this article is to expand thinking about fitness as an informational source for readers, and is not medical advice. Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8 Workout, or any high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This is not just a liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam before beginning a fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your fitness improvement plan.

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